The Trump administration said Thursday that Harvard University’s admissions policies appear to illegally discriminate against Asian-American applicants, according to multiple outlets including the New York Post.
“It’s blatant racial discrimination,” said commentator Michelle Malkin about the issue Thursday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
The Department of Justice issued a statement regarding a legal battle between the prestigious school and a concerned student group called Students for Fair Admissions.
In the statement of interest, the Justice Department said Harvard’s admission process “significantly disadvantages” Asian-American students compared to other racial groups.
While DOJ released decision on @Harvard today, another Asian education battle continues at my alma mater Brooklyn Tech HS where @BilldeBlasio proposing eliminating entrance exams for elite NYC high schools; Asians are over represented at 62%. Top scorers get in regardless of race https://t.co/cgOaiDIIXn
— Mary Chao (@marychaostyle) August 30, 2018
Harvard was the target of a blistering op-ed back in June in The New York Times by contributor Wesley Yang.
“The conclusion is unavoidable,” wrote Yang in his opinion piece. “In order to sustain this system, Harvard admissions systematically denigrated the highest-achieving group of students in America. Asian-Americans have been collateral damage in the university’s quest to sustain its paradoxical mission to grow its $37 billion endowment and remain the world’s most exclusive institution — all while incessantly preaching egalitarian doctrines.”
As Yang also wrote in his op-ed, “Earlier this month we learned a review of more than 160,000 individual student files contained in six years of Harvard’s admissions data found that Asians outperformed all other racial groups on every measure of academic achievement: grades, SAT scores, and the most AP exams passed.”
He noted that Asians listed more extracurricular activities than their counterparts, and were rated by interviewers who met them in person as “virtually on par” with their white peers in their personal characteristics.
“Yet Harvard admissions officers, many of whom had never met these applicants, scored them collectively as the worst of all groups in the one area — personality — that was subjective enough to be readily manipulable to serve Harvard’s institutional interests,” Yang wrote.
“No American should be denied admission to school because of their race,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday in a statement. “As a recipient of taxpayer dollars, Harvard has a responsibility to conduct its admissions policy without racial discrimination by using meaningful admissions criteria that meet lawful requirements.”
Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit in 2014 claiming that Harvard uses “racial balancing” in its admissions process, and that the practice is illegal.
Harvard challenged those claims, saying the group is misinterpreting data it released about how it selects students.
The Justice Department, however, said the group has presented “compelling evidence” that Harvard’s factoring of race in its admissions process does discriminate against Asian-Americans.
“Furthermore,” noted The Washington Times, “they argue that Harvard agrees not to discriminate on the basis of race as a condition of receiving millions of dollars in annual taxpayer funding.”
The Justice Department said the government has a vested interest in the case because Harvard receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding — on the condition it won’t discriminate based on ethnicity.
See “The Ingraham Angle” discussion of the issue in the video below: